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February 5th - February 9th
THE CLASSIC SCREEN TO STAGE THEATRE COMPANY
Two Brothers. One Destiny.
By DAN GORDON
Based on the Oscar winning film which famously starred Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman and won Oscar’s for Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best Actor, Bill Kenwright presents the inaugural Classic Screen to Stage Theatre Company production of RAIN MAN.
When self-centred salesman Charlie Babbitt discovers that his long-lost brother Raymond, an autistic savant with a genius for numbers, has inherited the family fortune, he sets out to get ‘his half’. Charlie ‘borrows’ Raymond from the institution where he has spent most of his life and the two brothers embark on a trip across America where Charlie soon discovers that Raymond is worth more than he could have ever imagined…
CHRIS FOUNTAIN (Charlie Babbit) won Best Actor in the 2008 British Soap Awards for his portrayal of Justin Burton in Hollyoaks. He played Tommy Duckworth for two years in Coronation Street and has also starred in Dancing On Ice and most recently the ITV drama, Girlfriends.
Unfortunately due to illness Paul Nicholls is unable to perform in Rain Man at Malvern Festival Theatre from 5-9 February. The role of Raymond Babbitt will be played by Adam Lilley.
There will be a pre-show talk on Friday 8th February at 6.30pm. Free to all ticket holders, click HERE to book a place.
Choice Radio Worcester
Rain Man was, in many ways, a ground-breaking film - one which portrayed on the big screen and with a major cast (Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise) the subject of autism or "savants" (meaning those who know) and the incredible "alternative" abilities of those who do not fit neatly into society but who nonetheless have played a pivotal role in human evolution and culture. Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein are both thought to have shown signs of being autistic.
It is not that long ago however that the word used to describe such people was "retarded" (there was even a horribly-named "National Association for Retarded Citizens" in the USA as late as 1984) but the film and other literature such as the brilliant "The curious incident of the dog in the night-time" have fortunately led to a more open understanding and appreciation of their differences.
Screenwriter Barry Morrow based his story on Kim Peek who had an encyclopaedic knowledge in all kinds of subjects due to an encephalode on the back of his head and similar traits are present in Rain Man's Raymond who can memorise, amongst other things, the telephone directory.
The stage version is now on tour but there has been a bit of musical chairs with the cast due to illness. Raymond is now played by Adam Lilley who was already cast as Mr Mooney/Dr Marston instead of Paul Nicholls and Joshua Diffley steps up from Understudy to take Adam Lilley's role. Brother Charlie is played by Chris Fountain, Dominic Taylor plays Dr Bruener, who wants to keep Raymond at his establishment and Charlie's girlfriend Susan is played by Elizabeth Carter.
It is only the death of the rather un-liked yet very successful father (the very cause of the boys' separation) which brings the two brothers together - before that neither knew the other even existed. But for Charlie, it is the thought of the $3 million legacy which is initially his main focus. Until he realises that his brother can help him to get what he has been denied. But as the story progresses, a true bond develops between the two and the cast present some genuinely touching moments, such as when Raymond is taught how to dance and kiss.
Raymond gets all the best lines, frustrating and infuriating his brother in equal measure by repeating the same phrases again and again, saying Yes to anything he is asked and revealing the phone number and address of a startled waitress based purely on his reading of the phone book. The many scene changes are achieved by using some great songs too.
Adam Lilley is quite brilliant and totally believable as Raymond, especially considering he has switched roles for a while at least, producing a flawless performance of realistic mannerisms which helps the audience understand that "you don't have to be handicapped to be different. Everyone is different".
If you are planning to go on Friday, there is a bonus with a pre-show talk at 6.30pm
My son and I have just watched this performance at Malvern Theatre and I have to say that it is one of the best shows I have ever seen. My middle son is autistic and the performance by Adam Lilley of Raymond Babbitt was absolute perfection. The voice and the mannerisms reminded us of our son and brother so much so that we were brought to tears. Chris Fountain was also exceptional as Charlie Babbit and the growing bond between the two brothers was so beautiful to witness, especially during the final scene. Thanks must go to the whole cast for delivering such a memorable show but the stand out performance has to be from the extremely talented Adam Lilley. Thank you so much for such a sensitive portrayal of this often misunderstood condition which will hopefully help to further public perceptions of autism in the future.
I have just seen the matinee of this production and it was absolutely amazing. Chris Fountain and Adam Lilley's performances were so absolutely convincing. If you have not booked to see this show please do. It will make you laugh and cry as the acting is so good. Excellent show.
I would rank this as a "must see". Never have I seen such a good play with such a modest audience (although I gather word-of-mouth is spreading fast). The adaptation from the screenplay; the acting; and the production are all wonderful. We have seen few plays better - and we see a LOT of plays!
Went to see Rainman last night. I urge anyone who can get tickets to go along to see this brilliant masterpiece. The whole story was played with touching but realistic sensitivity by all the actors - especially Charlie and Ray. Go see it you won't be disappointed!
We visited the theatre this evening (6th Feb) to watch Rain Man and certainly weren't disappointed. Adam Lilley undoubtably stole the whole show in his portrayal of Raymond. His acting was on point and at times emotionally moving. Wow...Just wow!
Chris Fountain played Charlie with all the charm, arrogance and lack of compassion that Tom Cruise showed Dustin Hoffman in the original.
On the whole a great evening. My only reason for not awarding 5 stars was the swearing. Way too much unnecessary bad language throughout this play, all by Fountain. I feel that it wasn't needed, the script / storyline didn't need this to make it powerful and have impact. Lilleys performance kept you gripped from start to finish.
This was a superb play. Ignore a little swearing and take in the emotion. Chris Fountain and Adam Lilley were superb. Unfortunately not all seats were taken but the the show was really good, the sets and scene shifts excellent and the cast mastered the american accent and delivered a brilliant show. Many thanks. A play to be treasured.
Definitely worth a ticket. Sad to see so few people there for such a well acted play. The two lead actors were great and created a brilliant atmosphere for a simple but thought provoking story.
We saw rain man this evening. Excellent evening, great music, one of the best performances that I have seen for a while.
Brilliant. I was worried about going to watch, having enjoyed the film and also the fact that so few people had booked the theatre. It was great and extremely well acted. Loved it
This was a superb adaptation of the movie. Brilliantly and sensitively acted. We laughed and cried as the relationship between Raymond and Charlie developed. We see a lot of plays and shows and this is definitely a favourite - so impressed with the superb acting.
Well done to all the actors involved tonight as halfway they had to cope with changes to the roles of Charlie and the psychiatrist. A bit of a shame but so professional executed that it did not detract from the beautiful performance at the end.
Went to see play Friday evening. Excellent performance. The cast was changed just over half way through which was a shame but saying that all the actors were brilliant and it did not detract from the performance. Well done
A must see - one more chance left in Malvern! Adam Lilley steals the show with an excellent performance. Got Raymond spot on.
Fantastic Fantastic Fantastic, this one is not to be missed, fantastically acted, Chris Fountain Superb, Adam Lilly absolutely fantastic as Ray, seen as he is the understudy for Paul Nicholl this young man did the most amazing job, this is Theatre at its absolute best. It’s one not to be missed!!!!